Illiniwek: Race the Night returns to the QC this Saturday night in Hampton

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This time last year, most events were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, fortunately for Phil Young and Brandon Bartz, trail runs seemed to be about the safest thing on the block and they were still able hold their event. That event, The Illiniwek: Race the Night is back this weekend in Hampton, IL and its bringing a few more miles with it for 2021. “Coming out of 2019, we thought we had some pretty good momentum,” explained Young. “We thought 2020 would be great and then what happened, happened and so last year’s race was an incredible joy to be able just to do it and see people out, so it was a unique momentum.”

Known for its challenging course, Bartz is excited to bring the QC faithful the course they know and love but is also hoping to catch a few new eyeballs this year. “We changed the course a little this year,” said Bartz. “There’s a 50K option, a 25K option and still kept the 7K in there, so it’s a little different but its appealing to that ultra-marathon crown looking to get that under their belt.”

This is also one of the few night runs in the area and so that makes it known for its fun after party as well. “We’ll have the kid’s race and DJ Spike there making noise making it feel like a party the whole time,” said Young. “And we’ll be there until probably 1am until the last 50K’er finishes it.”

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So if you are on the fence of jumping into the trail running world, Bartz and Young have some pretty great words to help you make up your mind to come join them this weekend. “If you are used to running on the roads, the trail brings something new to it. It brings an adventure,” said Bartz. “And that’s the spirit of the event,” exclaimed Young. “People find the trails for the first time or run further than they ever have or discover with a lap left say that this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done and I really just want to go home but I’m going to get back out there for one more loop, so we are excited for all that.”

The Illiniwek: Race the Night 50k, 25k and 7k is Saturday, August 21st at the Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, IL. 50k starts at 5pm, 25k at 7pm, Kids fun run at 7:15pm and the 7k at 8pm. You can register for this event at www.ultrasignup.com

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